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Meaning of “Cut Off The Nose To Spite The Face” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence.

Cut Off The Nose To Spite The Face

“He that smites his nose and has it not, forfeits his face to the king.”

—Old proverb.

To cut off the nose to spite the face is said of one who, Ito be revenged on his neighbour, materially injures himself. (Grose: Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796).

The origin of this phrase is probably based on the story of a man who, having found his nose so disproportionate to his visage as to make him unattractive, possibly actually ugly, acted angrily on the impulse that, as he could never be as handsome as he wished to be, he would make himself less handsome still, and thereupon slashed off the offending nose. Such an act, of course, is merely the exhibition of ill-temper and stupid pique. “I make it a rule never to cut the nose off my face” (Anthony Trollope: The Last Chronicle of Barset, 1867).

Hatred is probably the most pitiful of human faults, for it causes any person who harbours and indulges it to commit all manner of wrong.to his neighbours which would be tither-wise unthinkable. the story in Shakespeare’s The ‘Flutter’s Tale of the king who, out of revenge born of a blind jealousy, compasses his own unhappiness in seeking the destruction of his queen and his children, well illustrates this truth. The heart is so corroded and the conscience so dulled and blunted that almost all sense of the iniquity of the acts committed under the influence of hatred is deadened and irresponsive. It is precisely because of this lack of moral sensitiveness that we often find persons animated by the desire for revenge committing acts which they are more or less conscious will rebound on them with the force and exactitude of a boomerang.

There is no reason against cutting off one’s nose. There is no reason against an individual or a nation cutting off necessary sources of supply. Irreparable injury may follow the action; but if the motive be a noble one, the results of the injury will be somewhat mollified. The essence of vite, however, is malice, which always drinks its own poison, and leads-to ignominy.


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